The Tooth Cave pseudoscorpion (Tartarocreagris texana) resembles a tiny, tailless scorpion. Pseudoscorpions lack a stinger and are harmless to humans. They use their pincers to prey on small insects and other arthropods. The Tooth Cave pseudoscorpion is eyeless and troglobitic, meaning that they are adapted to and only live underground. Its habitat includes caves and other small openings in karst limestone, which are landforms and subsurface features like sinkholes and caves, that are produced by dissolution of bedrock. Although it lives underground, Tooth Cave pseudoscorpion are dependent on the quality of the water and nutrients from surface-level habitats.
Known to live in only a handful of caves or karst features in western Travis County, Texas, this species is endangered due to habitat destruction, degradation and fragmentation that result from urban development. The karst habitats inhabited by this species, and the ecosystems on which it depends, have evolved slowly over millions of years and cannot be recreated once they have been destroyed. Thus, the conservation and recovery of the Tooth Cave pseudoscorpion depends upon the long-term management and protection of the surface and subsurface habitat where it lives. We are working with private landowners and local, city and county governments to identify, preserve and manage these areas.
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